Nov 11 Building and Leading High Performance Teams
You see the raw potential in the members of your team. But how do you develop that and bring it to full fruition? That was one of the main challenges that one of my private clients recently faced. But after implementing some of the strategies I outlined for him he not only became a more effective team leader but he also dramatically boosted his market value.
Here are some helpful strategies I taught him for getting the most out of each individual on his team. Feel free to use these yourself, so that you become well known as a leader who knows how to create high performance teams.
Strengthen the Weaker Links
The tendency is to give the most difficult or challenging assignments to the most capable and proven employees. But that just reinforces the status quo. To elevate your team you need to offer opportunities for challenge and development to the less experienced or capable members. Give them added responsibility and a chance to prove themselves. That inspires them and elevates their confidence.
Evaluate Your Assignment Track Record
To ensure that you are assigning projects that challenge everyone and help everyone succeed, review your assignment decisions over the past 4-6 months. Ask yourself how difficult or important the project was, and who you assigned to do it. How often does that person have a chance for a new, more interesting or challenging assignment?
Do they show untapped potential or desire for greater responsibility that you have not fulfilled? Is everyone on your team feeling intellectually stimulated and emotionally engaged? Do they love their work, or do the assignments seem routine and boring to them? How can you delegate more responsibility to each of them to develop their greater potential and nurture a truly high performance team?
To succeed they will have to elevate their skill set and stretch beyond their comfort zone. That may require that you pair people up in a different configuration, so that they do a more dynamic job of sharing their individual talents and teaching one another new skills. That makes everyone more capable and it also is one of the most effective ways to break down the silos that inhibit sharing of knowledge, data, and resources.
By reevaluating your teams and project assignments in this way, you proactively demonstrate your interest in furthering the careers of your team members. That inspires their loyalty and lifts their morale. Plus it makes your team more productive and efficient, which automatically makes you a more well-liked and effective leader.
This approach demonstrates that your leadership is inclusive and that you value everyone, not just the stars of your team. In the end those who were considered less valuable rise to the level of real assets and soon everyone on your team becomes a rock star. That’s how my client learned to develop high performance teams, and it will work for you, too!
Being a team leader is a bit like feeding baby birds in a nest, so don’t just give the next assignment to the biggest team member. Who on your team seems the hungriest, and who needs the experience the most to help the whole team grow?
As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Consulting, provides leading-edge image and brand management strategies for top leaders and high achievers who wish to take their career to the next level. She also delivers innovative and inspiring corporate workshops to assist large organizations in strengthening their corporate brand.
Copyright © 2014, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS 1-800-267-3245, [email protected]
This article may be reproduced only in it’s entirety, including the above bio.
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Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Deloitte, McKesson, Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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